A joint press conference was held by Guyana’s president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s president Chandrikapersad Santokhi. “We both recognise that we now need to consolidate actions to choose from the shortlisted companies that have submitted expressions of interest for the construction of this bridge,” said Ali. “Our sides have also agreed that a working group would be established which includes the addition of the ministers of finance to determine the investment and concessions package that would accompany this expression of interest in securing the financing, building, operating and ownership of the bridge.”.

Site of the planned Corentyne BridgeIn July, eight companies were shortlisted to build the bridge linking Guyana to Suriname. The proposals are to be submitted on 16 September 2021, following which a joint evaluation committee will assess the bids. Subsequent to the choosing of the successful bidder, the company will have a year to conduct a feasibility study. 

Ali said that he and Santokhi have been able to settle transport impediments that affect private-sector-owned businesses that ply their trades in Guyana and Suriname. “There has been an agreement on a number of issues that were raised by the private sector in removing hurdles and impediments to allow for smoother air travel and greater reliability on the ferry between Guyana and Suriname,” said Ali.

Santokhi said the bridge would mark a new era for both countries in several areas. “This bridge on the Corentyne River is not only important to facilitate the movement of persons and goods, trade and cross border cooperation," he said. "It also symbolises a transition from the old to a new era. The era of wellbeing and prosperity of our people and freedom, democracy and the rule of law."